ROSEMONT, Ill. (July 12, 2023)—Facing another senseless act of violence and unbearable loss in the orthopaedic community, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) stands united in support of greater protection for physicians and other health care professionals who have increasingly been threatened, attacked, and killed in recent months.
“We offer our heartfelt condolences to the family of Benjamin M. Mauck, MD, FAAOS, patients, Campbell Clinic staff and the entire Collierville community during this difficult time of sadness and pain. Dr. Mauck was a dedicated physician, colleague and valued member of our orthopaedic organization, and his commitment to healing and devotion to the well-being of his patients touched countless lives. His death leaves an irreplaceable void,” said AAOS President Kevin J. Bozic, MD, MBA, FAAOS. “We cannot stand by idly as threats of violence against our members and their patients proliferate with little consequence. A physician’s office should be a safe haven for physicians, health care teams and patients, and we need to do all that we can to further prevent these tragedies now and in the future.”
Keeping Patients and Physicians Safe
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of injuries from violent attacks against medical professionals grew by 63% from 2011 to 2018, and hospital safety directors say that aggression against staff escalated as the COVID-19 pandemic intensified in 2020. In a 2022 work environment and culture survey of all AAOS members, four of 10 respondents reported that they had experienced some type of violence within the previous 12 months.
“The rise in workplace violence, coupled with its effects on health care workers and the inevitable consequences for society writ large is of major concern to the AAOS and all health care stakeholders,” added Bozic.
In response to this crisis, the AAOS has developed a workplace violence toolkit to ensure orthopaedic practices and health care facilities remain places of comfort, healing and learning. Dr. Bozic further acknowledged that advocacy efforts towards passing critical legislation like the SAVE Act, which aims to protect health care employees from assault and intimidation, are imperative and will be a focus of AAOS’ 2023 Orthopaedic Advocacy Week happening later this month.
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About the AAOS
With more than 39,000 members, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is the world’s largest medical association of musculoskeletal specialists. The AAOS is the trusted leader in advancing musculoskeletal health. It provides the highest quality, most comprehensive education to help orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals at every career level to best treat patients in their daily practices. The AAOS is the source for information on bone and joint conditions, treatments and related musculoskeletal health care issues; and it leads the health care discussion on advancing quality.
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